A focus on HR with Daira Suriel

Pretty much anyone who has ever had a job will most likely have had to interact with human resources at some point. For some, the largest part of that interaction will cover employment contracts and onboarding but there’s a lot more to it than that. For example, not so many people know that HR can offer support to employees from conflict resolution to career advancement opportunities and training to the management of benefits and compensation.

So, we wanted to fully get under the skin of what goes on behind the door marked ‘Human Resources’ and with that in mind, we decided to ask Daira to give us her take on what it’s like on the inside. 

Daira Suriel HR Interview - Aexus

Professional Philosophy

“If you know where you’re going, you’ll get there.”

I’ve been at Aexus since June last year and have the title of Human Resources Generalist. As the name would suggest, this is a very varied role which includes a lot of tasks that cover the whole spectrum of the employee’s life cycle, especially for our Spanish and German based employees. This means I support daily activities that can go from onboarding to offboarding and everything in between, such as labour relations and learning and development. I also work closely with the management team to define initiatives and programs for keeping people motivated.

I think I’ve always known that I wanted to be in HR, and that’s kind of what I’ve been doing since I got my bachelor’s. If you like, my big break into HR came when I had an internship at a large insurance company in my home country, the Dominican Republic. There, I learned a lot about recruitment, learning and development, and communication. This was a game changer for me because it meant I was able to talk to different people in many different roles. It also meant, of course, that I got to learn a lot about all the different positions within an organisation and what they bring to the table. After this, I worked at Unilever as an HR officer and, 10 months later, was promoted to HR Partner. I stayed there for 3 years but then decided to take a career break to travel and see more of the world. After that, I decided to stay in the Dominican Republic for another year and a half, during which I worked as an HR generalist for an American company called Prestige, which offers sales as a service.

In October 2019, I moved to Germany permanently. I spent the next two years getting my full-time MBA, improving my German skills, and working part-time, this time at GlobalFoundries in a Learning and Development role.

I came across Aexus while browsing through LinkedIn one day and applied. I still maintain that was the best decision I made in the whole of 2022. Since I’ve been here, I’ve had the chance to work on projects straight from the get-go and see them go from concept to fully-fledged strategies in a matter of weeks. We have such a great team here that it’s like we’re able to work seamlessly from one initiative to the next. I also like the start-up mentality here. It’s quite appropriate when you think about it considering most of our partners are in that space, but it’s also a motivating factor that somehow seems to make you want to work harder for the team. I’ve got some things I’m proud of as well, like working hard to make sure that Aexus is fully compliant with all the different labour regulations in Spain and Germany, as well as helping to shape our learning and development strategy. I’ve also successfully onboarded twenty-eight new starters in the past 10 months and supported the implementation of Personio, which is our new HRIS (Human Resources Information System). Personio has helped us streamline a lot of tasks, freeing up time for other HR businesses.

Looking to the future, I think that learning and development will continue to be a top priority for Aexus, and we have some ambitious goals in that particular area but I’m keeping quiet on that one for now. Don’t worry, I’ll keep you posted with any updates.